Skip to comments.Do Sports Fanatics Go to Heaven?
Posted on 08/20/2012 9:48:30 AM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
ESPN makes great commercials. It has been that way since it first launched its This is SportsCenter ad campaign back in 1995.
Nearly 400 commercials later, the campaign rocks on with its wry send-ups of famous athletes (usually hanging out at the ESPN offices in Bristol, Connecticut), its comical use of team mascots, and its amusing storylines involving rapid sports fans.
But a recent ESPN commercial is anything but wry or comical or amusing. It shows the actual graves of truly die hard sports fans whose headstones pay homage not to their Creator, but to their favorite sports teams.
Such end-of-life idolatry may very well condemn those that died not in Christ, but in the jersey of their favorite ballplayer, to eternal separation from God.
Indeed, if fans are so worshipful of their beloved sports team that they would go so far as to memorialize their devotion above their final resting place, they clearly have not loved the Lord their God with all their hearts, all their souls, all their strength and all their minds.
They have violated the very first of the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
Thats not meant to suggest that anyone who loves sports, who roots for a favorite athlete, who follows a favorite sports team is sinful. No. Only those who take their sports obsession to extremes.
Like the couple that so loved their Alabama Crimson Tide football that they actually skipped their daughters wedding to attend one of the Tides gridiron clashes.
Like at least three different sets of parents including one set living, ironically, in Corpus Christi, Texas that have named their newborn babies ESPN.
Like those who are buried in caskets bearing the logos of their favorite sports teams.
Those and other sports worshippers may not think their fanaticism sinful. They may not think it threatens their very salvation (that is, if they happen to consider themselves Christians).
But one cannot go to ones grave in open defiance of Gods commandment to have no other Gods before Him, abiding in the sin of idolatry for which one refuses to repent, and expect to escape Gods punishment.
For the Scripture warns that idol worshippers like the sports fanatics who went to their very graves paying tribute to their favorite teams shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
Is it a Biblical defined idol? If so, then you won’t be going to Heaven. If not, then it is fine. It doesn’t even have to be sports. I like many things that could turn into an idol. Always got to keep it in check. Even family could turn into an idol.
God first, above everything.
What’s wrong with being buried in sports gear? Do you only get to go to heaven if you’re in a suit? Really it’s your final clothes, I’d much rather go out in stuff I actually wore, sport gear, concert gear, exercise clothes, anything but a suit. I’m not a suit guy in life, why pretend once I’m dead?
Here lies the body of Solomon Pease
Under the grass, under the trees;
But Pease is not here,
Only the pod;
The peas have shelled out
And gone to God.
What does God care about what you are buried in? Now I am sure he is a Bears fan but a Packer guy wearing the Green and Yellow would not be kicked out of Heaven.
However, the author also made a fair point about tributes to a favorite team on headstones. To wit, a "J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets!" moniker on a headstone that's relevant to football fans now ... 200 years from now would cause onlookers to comment "Hmmm. Was this person in aviation?"
My brother was buried in a Arkansas Razorback jersey. I am sure the Almighty had no problem with that.
The people planning the funeral pick the clothes, the headstone, and the casket ... not the dead guy. I don’t know that Salvation is especially dependent on caskets and headstones.
I suppose if a sports fanatic were literally worshipping the team as a god, then that would be a major problem. I doubt most fans, even those who get buried in a jersey, actually worship the team, though.
If we’re going to think about our headstones as a message to the future then I think confusion should be the goal. I’ve got a friend that’s an archeologist, I asked him once if they ever considered the idea that people left behind “evidence” just to confuse future historians, he said only when drinking and they all hope not.
There's a large "temple / gathering place" (I dunno,it's hard to describe) in the mountains of Western Maine. It was built out of granite by a retired fellow; took him several years to do it. It's a fairly impressive site. Huge stone blocks set up, a large hand-hewn stone staircase, and so on.
I read an interview with him awhile back. In it, he said that it was a fun hobby and he enjoyed the view from the top. No religious significance, beyond the fact that it's so pretty and well-done that it's become a local popular spot for weddings.
Since I read the interview, I've wondered how many archeological sites that we ascribe so much significance to - think Stonehenge, Mayan ruins, etc - was more-or-less like this. Buncha guys puttering around on a few weekends, or the local lord had some serfs who weren't busy, and something was built that "looked cool" to impress the chicks.
Because men are wicked sinners, idolatry is rampant in our day, just as it has been since the Garden of Eden, so I agree it’s a problem. However, there is no salvation to be found in law-keeping. Scripture is clear that salvation is by grace, and only by grace.
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20)
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Romans 10:4)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
My ex brother-in-law said he wants to be buried in sunglasses and an Hawaiian shirt, because it’s going to be eternal vacation time.
Isn't it possible that these people who are obsessed with sports are more obsessed with God? An earthly obsession and devotion to God are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
What about former military people who insist on military-based inscriptions on their tombstones and on being buried in full uniform? That seems to be the same situation as the sports-obsessed fan but maybe a little more socially acceptable.
Methinks you think too much.
You’ve not demonstrated any idol worship. Worship is the operative word here. Liking your team so much you want to literally take the logos to your grave doesn’t rise to the level of worship, at least from where I sit.